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Re: Re: Do you think JB will ever move....?

I know that anecdotal evidence is worthless, but it is the likes of this that make me question the presumption.

How researchers (epidemiologists) can overlook the Anecdotes of people who smoke and drink themselves into old age and ignore the din of the young healthy people dying and maintain the position that smoking and drinking are unhealthy is difficult to comprehend. I don't smoke and don't drink enough alcohol to keep myself healthy. I try to make up for it with occasionally ingestation of whole milk, whipping cream, and double whipping cream. It is probably wise to avoid drinking 12 molar HCL, but it is idiotic to worry about drinking 4% Milk, being paranoid about the inhalation of a few hundred particles of now cool ash, or ingesting a few ounces of grain alcohol. It is incredibly unwise to ingest several gallons of water (a healthy activity some would say).

If it doesn't kill you soon the fog of life will likely discount it.

Re: Re: Re: Do you think JB will ever move....?

Non Scientist has just delivered it's weekly headline email to my in box. Makes a big thing about the head line and then seems not to mention the article to which it belongs.

However it does have an outline of a piece based on a paper that suggests acetaldehyde is the root of all human health problems (well, maybe not quite ALL but the list starts with alcohol and moves through tobacco and exhaust fumes to food. Pretty much covers all bases.)

Darn it. Seems the only way to live longer is to kill ourselves .... er, or was that saving the planet?

The irony that one half of the eco-stateists want to stop people enjoying things because it might be killing them prematurely compared to the other half of the eco-stateists suggesting the should be fewer of us if we want to save the planet seems to be lost in the media noise.

It would be really nice if we could park them somewhere out of the way for, say, 100 years so that they could thrash things out between themselves and come back with a useful proposal. Or to not come back with a proposal would also be fine. By then I won't care one way or the other. Nor, most likely, will be kids.

Grant

Re: Do you think JB will ever move....?

The reason why I ask is that Numberwatch is a) terrible to behold b) difficult to navigate and c) difficult to link to. The comments of readers are wholly divorced from the blog itself.

Bear in mind that such things as LaTeX are available but they are not compulsory. There would be no need for JB to constantly mess about with the look of the site.

Not only could people link to JB's writings but JB could link to others which would drive traffic in both directions.

I still think its a good idea for JB to give up website modelling and concentrate on writing.

Steve McIntyre was trying to create a website using html and FrontPage when I persuaded him to go with Wordpress and look what's happened. It is no coincidence that climateaudit gets read and quoted and reviewed so often - its because Steve M is taking advantage of the Internet to get across his views.

Re: Do you think JB will ever move....?

Here are some of my reasons.
1. It’s my party and I’ll cry if I want to.
2. I am old and set in my ways. The format is like the ancient red towelling bathrobe I wear when writing at night, a minor comfort.
3. I do not want to learn any more languages (I can still write programs in Pegasus machine code, which has not been used for half a century).
4. Things are not free if they carry adverts, especially ones that directly counter the content.
5. I like the Forum (and its people) the way it is. I do not see the point of threads two hundred entries long, and I cannot be bothered to read them.
6. You may call it a blog, but I call it a commentary. It predates blogging.
7. You may find it ugly, but it is my seven-year-old, and I love it.
8. The site is now funded by a few of its faithful readers, who tell me that they do not want it turned into a blog.
9. The present total of 60,000 visits a month is at least two orders of magnitude greater than I ever anticipated.
10. The site is widely used as a resource by various academic institutions, why upset their links?
11. Although I do not plan to have “I did it my way” sung at my funeral, I did.
12. I do not do any web site modelling or mess about with the look of the site (not for seven years anyway). I just write (and calculate).
13. I particularly like the clouds. They hark back to one of my catch phrases when lecturing on instrumentation – the cloud of unknowing.
14. I am unstinting in my admiration for Steve McIntyre, but I find many of the train spotters on his blog tedious.

Re: Do you think JB will ever move....?

And while I am on the subject, here are some things I don’t like about blogs:
1. Most of the screen is taken up with things I do not wish to read. I might wish to follow the links at some stage, but at the moment I want to read the text.
2. So everything is divided into three columns. Even when the two redundant outer ones have run out of material, the information is still relegated to a narrow centre (sometimes very narrow). All right for addicts of tabloid newspapers, but not for people who read real books. What is the point of a screen that is mostly white space?
3. I object to the adverts being there, but sometimes they are destructively intrusive. I recently had to abandon one piece because the large flashing bright green square (telling me I had won a genuine lottery that I had not entered) was giving me a migraine.
4. On sceptical sites the adverts often subvert the material. For example, on Climate Audit, the revelation of fraudulent manipulation of data was accompanied by – Climate change is a reality today, see what you can do to help: A mobile to set off your carbon footprint: a new MSc in Climate Change. I actually believe in the power of advertising, which is why I don’t have any.
5. They are all made out of ticky-tacky and the all look just the same.

Re: Re: Do you think JB will ever move....?

well, i like things as they are, and many thanks for your efforts, john. its great to read commentary from a numerate perspective
to avoid flashing ads try using mozilla firefox browser and the ad block plugin - it gets rid of all images you dont want to see, stops popups and speeds up pageloading hugely. i rarely use ie now.
http://www.mozilla.com/en-US/
https://addons.mozilla.org/firefox/1865/

Re: Re: Do you think JB will ever move....?

If it isn't broken, don't fix it would be my comment.

Personally I find the blog ads intrusive and sometimes at odds with the content of the blogs, as John remarked above somewhere.

Re: Do you think JB will ever move....?

JB: I'd like to reply to your points.

1. It’s my party and I’ll cry if I want to.

-its an old song

2. I am old and set in my ways. The format is like the ancient red towelling bathrobe I wear when writing at night, a minor comfort.

- No. You're just afraid of something you don't understand. It's called prejudice.

3. I do not want to learn any more languages (I can still write programs in Pegasus machine code, which has not been used for half a century).

No programming languages required to learn at all. 99% of all bloggers have no clue about the underlying code - which is a good thing IMHO.

4. Things are not free if they carry adverts, especially ones that directly counter the content.

There is no advertising if you don't want them. I added Adsense because Steve needed to upgrade his server package and it was an inexpensive and unobtrusive way of doing so. Most blogs do not have any advertising.

5. I like the Forum (and its people) the way it is. I do not see the point of threads two hundred entries long, and I cannot be bothered to read them.

My offer includes a separate forum, but if you want, keep this forum.

6. You may call it a blog, but I call it a commentary. It predates blogging.

Semantics. It's a computerized diary.

7. You may find it ugly, but it is my seven-year-old, and I love it.

It's amazing how attached we get to things well past their usefulness isn't it? Its terrible to navigate, you can't search it and you can't link to it without a masters in html.

8. The site is now funded by a few of its faithful readers, who tell me that they do not want it turned into a blog.

It already is a blog. Besides which, what contributors to your fund want as far as the site is concerned is irrelevant.

9. The present total of 60,000 visits a month is at least two orders of magnitude greater than I ever anticipated.

It's tiny in comparison to its proper reach. Climate Audit gets somewhere between 500K and 1.1 million hits per month. There's no intrinsic reason why yours could not be as big, other than its seven-year old flaws.

10. The site is widely used as a resource by various academic institutions, why upset their links?

Then grandfather it - don't delete it. Just post a link to the new blog and keep the old site where it is.

11. Although I do not plan to have “I did it my way” sung at my funeral, I did.

So did Sid Vicious.

12. I do not do any web site modelling or mess about with the look of the site (not for seven years anyway). I just write (and calculate).

Which is exactly what the new blog would do. Except that it would be useful to the rest of humanity who don't navigate a nearly unnavigable website.

13. I particularly like the clouds. They hark back to one of my catch phrases when lecturing on instrumentation – the cloud of unknowing.

I think you're wandering off the subject. You can take the clouds with you.

14. I am unstinting in my admiration for Steve McIntyre, but I find many of the train spotters on his blog tedious.

You don't have to have comments. Besides which, if you did have comments, they'd be your trainspotters, not his.

Re: Re: Do you think JB will ever move....?

John A said in response to point 8 by John B:

"8. The site is now funded by a few of its faithful readers, who tell me that they do not want it turned into a blog.

It already is a blog. Besides which, what contributors to your fund want as far as the site is concerned is irrelevant."

I think you're casually dismissing the most important of JEB's points. There is a recent precedent which suggests it isn't advisable to turn a site like this into a full modern blog format. Junkscience.com attempted in the last week of 2006 to convert to a blog format, but adverse reader feedback caused them to switch back to the old format only a few days into 2007. Junkscience.com has a sort of daily diary of internet links which discuss or give examples of junkscience, and in the temporary blog format available for a few days at the turn of the year, readers of the site could comment themselves on the various collected newspaper articles.

Anything that goes on at Junkscience.com has a direct bearing on Numberwatch because I would imagine that most first time viewer traffic for Numberwatch comes from Junkscience.com and the two sites have very similar target audiences.

Re: Do you think JB will ever move....?

Further comments by JB with my replies.

And while I am on the subject, here are some things I don’t like about blogs:

1. Most of the screen is taken up with things I do not wish to read. I might wish to follow the links at some stage, but at the moment I want to read the text.

The look of the blog is endlessly changeable to whatever you want it to look like and it can be changed at a moments notice without altering a single paragraph. They're called themes and there are hundreds of different ones.

The one on CA is a three column theme, but there are one, two and four column themes out there to choose from.

2. So everything is divided into three columns. Even when the two redundant outer ones have run out of material, the information is still relegated to a narrow centre (sometimes very narrow). All right for addicts of tabloid newspapers, but not for people who read real books. What is the point of a screen that is mostly white space?

See above. That's the theme for CA but there are many that are different: Warwick Hughes uses the same software but his theme is totally different. Dan Hughes is different again. My blog ( http://things.auditblogs.com ) looks different again.

3. I object to the adverts being there, but sometimes they are destructively intrusive. I recently had to abandon one piece because the large flashing bright green square (telling me I had won a genuine lottery that I had not entered) was giving me a migraine.

Adverts are not compulsory. You don't have to have them at all.

4. On sceptical sites the adverts often subvert the material. For example, on Climate Audit, the revelation of fraudulent manipulation of data was accompanied by – Climate change is a reality today, see what you can do to help: A mobile to set off your carbon footprint: a new MSc in Climate Change. I actually believe in the power of advertising, which is why I don’t have any.

I think its entertaining because every time a read clicks on of those adverts, Steve McIntyre gets a small fee from the advertiser. Ironically, those advertisers are funding Steve McIntyre.

5. They are all made out of ticky-tacky and the all look just the same.

JB - They palpably don't. I could show you plenty of places where the same software looks completely different, and most people don't even realise its Wordpress.

Re: Do you think JB will ever move....?

Good for you John B. You can skip the Web 2.0 and be ready to jump on the Web 3.0 bandwagon when it arrives;)
If readers want to know if you have updated your website without visiting the site I would recommend using http://www.watchthatpage.com/
It will send you a e-mail whenever a page changes.

Re: Do you think JB will ever move....?

Yes, but if that page to be watched changes its URL every month, then you've still got a monthly job to change it. If JB adds a new page for something else, you'll never know about it.

As for the "trainspotters" jibe, I know that Steve M has often said that those commenters keep him on his toes, and often provide fruitful lines of new inquiry. The comment by Paul Linsay showing that the distribution of hurricanes in the Atlantic follows a Poisson distribution (a revelation which I know startled more than one climatologist) is a case in point. As is the latest post on Hansen's altering of historical data.

What I'm going to do is show how Numberwatch could look - and I'm going to make it look as retro as possible - and still be far more accessible to a wider audience. Give me a couple of hours.

John

Re: Do you think JB will ever move....?

I think the only place to which John should move is the Roman Catholic Church. A man of his intellect could build up a powerful amount of Heaven Credits by showing, as Pascal implied, that to be the safest bet.
While catholicfundamentalism.com sort of thinking may not be his cup of tea, the British Isles were better off with that as an underlying philosophy than they are now.

Re: Do you think JB will ever move....?

Whatever.

Re: Do you think JB will ever move....?

JB, the overwhelming reason why it would be worth doing as John suggests is the point about reaching a broader readership. The present system may have the advantage of selecting people with sufficient persistence/appreciation of the content, but it is somewhat off-putting. I would like to see more of the non-expert Brit bloggers reading and linking to you, and that really could be much easier.
P.S.. you might be surprised by how many of Steve's trainspotters are already here ...

Re: Re: Do you think JB will ever move....?

Well, after all it is John's party, so his opinion trumps other suggestions, but I agree with him that we have a surfeit of form over content on the web already. As to whether making it easier to get to is the point, well, if I am too lazy to make three clicks to get to something interesting and useful then I really do need to get a life. Not running my own blog I don't know how hard it is to link to a specific item as opposed to the whole number of the month page, but JunkScience seems to able to do this happily enough.

Cheers

PS. This is the reason I don't have my own blog - too easy to get into rant mode with no counter-balancing note of sanity - usually from my wife!

Re: Do you think JB will ever move....?

Very well. I withdraw my offer.